PR Blunders of 2012

Here we are at the last day of 2012, a perfect time to look back and celebrate the successes of the year.  PR is certainly becoming very prominent in the business world as social media becomes more and more powerful.  It’s hard to believe that before 2012, I didn’t even have a Twitter.

The end of the year is also a great time to look back and learn from the mistakes made in the past year.  Fineman PR’s annual PR Blunders List is a great compilation of “learning moments” from 2012.  From these case studies we can deduce that politics will always be messy and being considerate is always more important than taking advantage of sensitive situations.


My personal favorite from this list is the Mountain Dew mouse debacle.  To summarize, Mountain Dew declared that the formula used for their drinks would reduce a mouse to a “jelly-like” substance in defense of a lawsuit from an Illinois customer. At first glance anyone would be able to tell that this is a bad PR move, who wants to drink something that can reduce a corpse to jelly? However it is important to note that you have to consider all ways that a statement could be taken.  Obviously, Mountain Dew was too focused on winning the case to worry about the consequences of their actions. Also, there are some times that you have to pick your fights. In this case, the lawsuit may have cost Mountain Dew less money than the lost consumer base.

Definitely check out the list.  Although some of the examples were very famous (Mitt Romney’s statement that “47% of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes and think of themselves as ‘victims.'”) there were a few that I hadn’t heard of before. Then, go forth and make awesome choices in 2013, starting with responsible New Year’s celebrations. 🙂

-Rebecca Martineau


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